MIAMISBURG, Ohio —Many businesses have had to shift gears during the pandemic, repurposing what they were doing to meet the needs created by the coronavirus. Others have had to close, but some have become more important during this crucial time.
The Miamisburg company Aerobiotix is providing something that’s essential to hospitals — clean air.
- The hospital-grade air recirculation system kills bacterial and viruses in one pass of the system
- Uses ultraviolet light as one of the steps to purify air
- The company’s president and CEO says they’ve sold more units in the past two weeks than they have all of last year
According to the National Institutes of Health, coronavirus can survive as an airborne aerosol for up to three hours — which makes the need for having clean air in hospitals more important now than ever before.
Dr. David Kirschman, president and CEO of Aerobiotix, a Miamisburg-based air purification company, said their technology Illuvia does just that.
“We manufacture systems that are deployable in hospitals that go in and recirculate and sterilize air in a facility, or disinfect air,” Kirschman said.
He said it’s critical to the health of doctors and nurses. According to the Ohio Department of Health, here in Ohio, 628 of the confirmed COVID-19 cases are healthcare workers.
“We’re trying not to just protect the patients, but also critically, the healthcare workers,” Kirschman said. “They’re taking very high risks being in these facilities. They’re taking potentially higher doses of the virus in their facilities.”
Which is why he said the Illuvia air recirculation system is so important to have.
Here’s how the system works:
“It sucks the air into the unit, it goes through a filtration system and it goes through an ultraviolet light system,” Kirschman said. “And so what we have is a special, what we call a photolytic chamber, which is a box where we highly concentrate the ultraviolet light, then run that air through a HEPA filtration system, then back out into the room.”
Then the air is free and clear of any traces of airborne viruses after just one pass-through of the system.
“So any virus that enters into the system, by the time that it goes through the three stages of HEPA filtration and the ultraviolet light, the air coming out does not have the technical virus in it at that point,” Kirschman said. “It was fully independently validated by an external laboratory a number a years ago to show that has this single-pass elimination ability.”
Kirschman said their product is already in 150 hospitals around the world — from Italy, to Africa and beyond.
And over the past few weeks, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to grow in the U.S., he said Aerobiotix is selling more Illuvia units than ever before.
“We’ve shipped more units in the past few weeks than we had all year last year,” Kirschman said. “Our business has exploded, I wish it were a different reason why it’s exploded, but our business has exploded. We’re working very hard to ramp up production to meet the demand both in the U.S. and globally.”
And for an Ohio-based company providing an essential tool in the war against coronavirus, he said it feels pretty good to know they’re doing their part.
“(Healthcare professionals are) working so hard, and taking so much risk, probably a lot more risk than most people realize, actually. If we can improve these environments even a little bit, I think that’s gratifying to us.”